It All Started in Childlink

I attended grade school at Childlink Learning Center when I was around 6 years old, and graduated in 2007. Childlink has come a long, long way since then, but allow me to take you back to its early days – where one of the most crucial learning experiences of my life “my formative years” were spent.

The names of some of my teachers are still familiar in my head – Teacher Ada, Teacher Brigette, Teacher Fairy, Teacher Kenneth, Teacher Helene, and of course, Teacher Tess. Life was much simpler back then. My classmates and I didn’t have social media or smartphones to complicate anything (but since I live in Manila now, Facebook is an indispensable tool for catching up with them). I have many fond memories of Childlink, and to this day I am thankful for the many lessons it has imparted to me. I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for Childlink.

When I was in Grade 2, I was tasked to write an article for “Parent Update,” Childlink’s weekly newsletter, about the recent Scouting Investiture. We had graduated from Star Scouts to Girl Scouts, which was momentous in itself, but all my silly 8-year-old self remembered was the heat and so I wrote about that. And as it turned out, people who read it found it funny! I soon realized that I enjoyed stringing words together, and now here I am, dreaming of a career in journalism and publishing. In fact, I’ve already dipped my toes into the water: for two years now, I’ve been writing feature and entertainment articles for Candy Magazine every single month.

But I am most thankful to Childlink for instilling in me my love for musical theatre. As you are all aware of, school plays are an annual Childlink tradition. My first time to join was for Joseph the Dreamer, and then I went on to play the role of Narrator for two or three plays (I can only remember one now: David and Goliath). I played the role of Miss Butterfly in Childlink’s adaptation of the bible story of Jonah, Swallowed by a Fish, and went on to play the role of Mulan in The Heart of Mulan. That was my last play in Childlink, and I remember being so moved by the heroism of Fa Mulan and the sheer euphoria I felt onstage. I even remember shedding silent tears in the dressing room after the show. Despite my young age then, I consider that to be one of the most defining moments of my life. It was then that I discovered what was to become a lifelong passion. I have participated in numerous productions for Trumpets Playshop, and am an active member of the Ateneo Blue Repertory, the premier musical theatre organization of the Ateneo de Manila University (where I am currently an AB Communication junior). Just last July, I played the role of Rona Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the organization’s season premiere.

I also had the opportunity to hone my leadership skills in Childlink. Be it leading a troop of Girl Scouts or becoming Student Council President, I learned a lot about the importance of accountability and taking care of your team.

Even now, at 18 years old and at the near-final cusp of my college days, I still thank Childlink Learning Center for getting me started on my path towards pursuing my passions and living a life dedicated to success, continuous learning, and compassion for others. To the Linkers of today and tomorrow, consider yourselves truly lucky to be a part of the Childlink Family. You are in very good hands.

Chandra Marie Pepino
Childlink Learning Center GS Batch 2007
AB Communication 2016, Ateneo de Manila University

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